Now that you know why I decided to serve a mission, I suppose I ought to describe a little about what missionary life is like. So, here's my daily schedule:
6:30 a.m. The alarm goes off. I roll out of bed and onto my knees to say my morning prayer. I usually ask for the guidance of the Spirit to help me find and teach people. Then my companion and I work out for half an hour so we can be strong and able to do the Lord's work throughout the day.
7:00 a.m. My companion gets in the shower and I eat breakfast before getting ready for the day. My breakfast is usually either cold cereal or oatmeal with either toast or yogurt. Then I get dressed and ready for the day. Before I start my studies, I put on my name tag, because I am a representative of Jesus Christ for the duration of my mission, and it's important that I remember that as well as those who see me.
8:00 a.m. I begin my personal study. This is the time I get each day to focus only on myself and my own spiritual progress. I usually study the Standard Works, which includes the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants. I also study Preach My Gospel, our handbook to what and how to teach and be the best missionary I can be.
9:00 a.m. I begin study with my companion. We go over our plans for the day, discuss our investigators and the lessons we will teach, and create lesson plans for them. We practice teaching and study together. We also recite our purpose as missionaries so we can always remember the reason we are serving a mission: To invite others to come unto Christ.
10:00 a.m. Since I'm a new missionary, I need to be trained. Our training program lasts the first twelve weeks in the field, and so we call it 12 Weeks. It helps me become more familiar with missionary work and also helps me develop important teaching skills so that I can learn to stand on my own when I'm teaching and not lean on my companion or others.
11:00 a.m. Lunch! We take an hour for lunch each day, to eat and also for some additional study time because nobody takes a full hour to eat. I usually make something simple, like a sandwich or a freezer meal and some fruit, like an apple.
12:00 p.m. Language study. Since I'm teaching in Spanish, I have to know Spanish. So I take an hour each day to study the language--grammar, vocabulary, etc. I use this time to both study grammar concepts and translating. I don't have much time to write while I'm on my mission, but I still brought my notebooks and so I translate what I've already written to help me become more familiar with sentence structure and vocabulary.
1:00 p.m. Proselyting time. We teach investigators and members, find people to teach by referral contacting or street contacting. There are also occasionally meetings at this time that helps everyone in our mission improve. Also, since I am authorized to use internet resources to teach now, I try to take an hour with my companion using online resources ti find and teach as well as share uplifting and inspiring messages via Facebook.
5:00 p.m. Dinner. Our branch is small, so we switch off weeks eating with members of our branch and members of our sister ward that covers the same area but speaks English. So I get quite a variety of food. But our members insist on feeding us more than we can feasibly eat, so exercise each morning becomes more important to work off those extra calories from all those tortillas!
6:00 p.m. The is prime proselyting time. We contact a lot of people during this time, as well as have teaching appointments with our investigators to help them learn the gospel and progress toward baptism. We also visit members occasionally to strengthen their testimonies of the gospel.
9:00 p.m. We return to our apartment. We review our day to see what worked and what didn't, what we can improve on, etc. We set goals for the next day and evaluate our work that day to see if we met the goals set the previous night. We also plan for the next day.
10:30 p.m. Lights out.I try to be in bed before this time because missionary work is exhausting, and I need all the sleep I can get so I can put forth my best effort toward teaching the next day. But I always say a prayer before getting into bed, continuing to ask my Father in Heaven to help me improve and help me help others come unto Christ.
6:30 a..m. Wake up and do it again!
While being a missionary is hard, it is also very rewarding. I've already learned a lot and will continue to learn. I can feel the influence of the Spirit as I do the Lord's work, guiding me in the things I do and the words I say. I know that this is His work, not mine, and that's why I'm willing to expend so much effort in doing it. That is why I am willing to sacrifice 18 months of my life and follow such strict guidelines. Because I know that the work I am doing will bless the lives of so many people. I may not always see the fruits of my labors while I am serving a full-time mission, but I have still planted seeds that other missionaries can harvest in the future.